The Trouble with Gerrold: Nerd filtering
May 17, 2012 —
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Related Search Term(s): griefers
After a hard day wrangling wild tribbles, breaking them to the saddle, branding them, gelding them, herding them to market—or simply slaving away over a large pot of tribble stew—I like to put up a pot of tea, open a tin of biscuits, and treat myself to a nice quiet relaxing evening. I play StarCraft II, because there’s nothing on this planet as satisfying as kicking the crap out of some insolent little snot with a testosterone problem.
What draws me to StarCraft and other multiplayer games is the strategy and logistics of the game. You have to plan, build and counter what the enemy is doing. You have to consider costs and consequences. I enjoy being a part of a team that can plan and execute, counter and adapt, and invent on-the-fly appropriate strategies and tactics to take advantage of the conditions of the map.
In fact, that’s what I like most: the experience of real teamwork. Most games allow communication between players—even if you don’t have a headset, you can still type messages back and forth and develop online friendships. Team play lets you experience being part of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Other players play for other reasons, of course. Some are methodically determined to build up their league scores, their tally of achievements, or simply master the different skills necessary for winning. Some play for the social aspects, and some just play because they like the game. And me—after winning 500 games in Nexus Wars (an uploaded game mod), I get to use the ultimate avatar as a builder. It can be very intimidating to the noobs. (We were all noobs once. It’s part of the game.)
What I don’t like about multiplayer games is that some players behave badly. Apparently, the anonymity of the Internet is an incentive for some people to let out their inner bully. Some players act as if trash-talking an opponent gives them some advantage. Actually, the reverse is true. Trash-talking an opponent increases his desire to beat the excrement out of you on the playing field.